Experienced Melbourne Victory recruit Georg Niedermeier has tipped Thomas Deng to enjoy a bright future with club and country while providing some sage advice for his defensive ally.
Niedermeier, 32, and youngster Deng have formed a strong connection at centre-back since coming together in the wake of last month's 3-2 home loss to Perth Glory.
The pair were imperious in the away win over Newcastle Jets that steadied Victory's season and continued to develop their understanding in the weekend's 4-1 dismantling of Central Coast Mariners.
Niedermeier, who spent almost a decade in the Bundesliga, is impressed with Deng's potential and believes their partnership will only improve with time.
"Physically he's very strong, he's quick, he has a good technique," the ex-Stuttgart mainstay said.
"He can still improve on parts of his play in some situations. I always watch the videos afterwards and speak with him.
"There are a couple of situations we can solve better, but it will come with games.
"He had to switch a couple of times in pre-season from right-back to centre-back, which is not easy because the positions are very different. But I think from his status he is very good.
"I hope he will work hard on the tactics and those small things and he can make a good career, also in the national team."
Creative force Keisuke Honda was instrumental to the Mariners rout, opening the scoring with his second goal of the Hyundai A-League season and proving a handful in possession.
The Japanese star has settled quickly into his new surrounds, with Niedermeier admiring his team-mate's ability to flourish under close attention.
"You can see all his quality on the pitch," the German said.
"He's very calm on the ball, you can always play with him.
"As soon as he's on the ball it gets dangerous. Of course the teams try to avoid this and double him, so it's not easy for him.
"But he's still doing very well and he's involved with every goal. I'm looking forward to scoring from one of his corners or crosses!"